2014 Mentor Team
When not riding bikes and burning wooden pallets down by the river, Lint spends his time on the long distance trails in North America. His life revolves around long distance backpacking, or ‘thru’ hikes as they are known. Thus far he has completed end-to-end hikes of the Ice Age Trail, Appalachian Trail (twice), Pacific Crest Trail (three times), Continental Divide Trail (twice) and Colorado Trail and Arizona Trail. This adds up to somewhere around 20,000 miles, but who’s really counting? Many more hikes are planned, since he cannot find anything better to do with his time other than walk thousands of miles across this continent.
Heather “Anish” Anderson
The PCT is fresh in Anish’s memory. Not only did she thru-hike the PCT this past summer, she set the self supported speed record by hiking the trail in 60 days, 17 hours and 12 minutes! Anish thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail solo (2003), her first long backpacking trip, and thru-hiked the Pacific Crest (2005) and Continental Divide (2006) trails with a partner. She’s worked for the National Park Service in Glacier National Park, and has hiked extensively in the Pacific Northwest and the Southwest, and runs ultramarathons all over the country.
Ryan “Dirtmonger” Sylva
‘The supple person is the lover of life; the rigid person is the disciple of death.’ I believe in pushing your limits; then go farther. There is no other place I find that element than on trail, preferably in the mountains. We should not settle in life, but take whatever comes your way with determination and grit, and keep moving forward. There is so much to experience that I want it all at once. ~Dirtmonger
Dirtmonger has hiked the Pacific Crest Trail, Continental Divide Trail, Kokopelli Trail, and most recently the self-dubbed Vagabond Loop around the Four-Corners region.
Seth “Naturally Caffeinated” Brewer
“Born and raised in Connecticut, I’ve successfully hiked over 5,000 miles of glorious trail; and I have other hikers to thank for much of that success. Without the selfless and enthusiastic support and knowledge of more experienced ultralight hikers, my own inexperience could have foiled my hiking dreams early on. I hope to give back at least a portion of the help, knowledge, and tricks that were taught to me that have helped fuel my 4 successful thru-hikes. I am excited to team up with Yama to help you accomplish your goal of hiking one of our nations finest long trails. I hope that I can pay-forward all the assistance that I have received over the years, and help other adventurers realize their dream.” ~Naturally Caffeinated
Naturally Caffeinated completed a thru hike of the Pacific Crest Trail just this past year. He’s hiked Appalachian Trail, Long Trail, Ireland’s Wicklow Way, and the New England Trail. He’s also climbed the tallest peaks in the UK and Ireland.
Brittany “Sassgorilla” Nunnink
“At a road crossing near Tehachapi, CA a kind and generous trail angel offered my friend and I a ride into town. Once we settled in, he handed us a clip board and a pen. Written on this clip board was the name of every hiker he’d shuttled thus far, their hometown, their age, and – my favorite – the reason for why they’d hiked the trail. Responses varied from “for a healthy challenge” to “life goal” to “why not?” The list made me smile as I read through and added my response: ‘for fun’.”
“The Pacific Crest Trail is no small feat. It’s a long, long journey that requires dedication, commitment and intense motivation – both emotionally and physically. But it doesn’t take a professional hiker to get it done, and that’s what I love about it. You meet people out there of every age, ability, and skill level. Personally, I’m an athletic individual, but backpacking is by no means my life (prior to the PCT my longest backpacking trip was three weeks long and that was several years ago!). This is all to say that as long as you’re dedicated and motivated, you can do it, and to learn that about yourself and others is pretty amazing. I’m grateful for the opportunity to give back to the hugely supportive PCT community, and I look forward to mentoring mYAMAdventure hikers as they set out for what shall assuredly be an experience of a lifetime.” ~Sassgorilla
Noah “Prophet” Kanter
After completing his first long-distance hike on the PCT this past year, Prophet said, “Part of the reason I decided to hike the PCT is that I wasn’t sure if I could do it. When I hiked a 75mi section in 2009, I was firmly convinced I would never do the whole thing. I didn’t think I had it in me. I didn’t know if I could handle the mental element, let alone the physical challenge. This initial doubt, that I kept to myself until now, makes finishing even sweeter.”
“I’m excited about this program because it will allow me to give back to the community that has given me so much. While I was planning, I was sometimes overwhelmed by the amount of information and opinions about thru hiking. I connected with a few former hikers and it helped me tremendously to consult with them and synthesize all of that information. I look forward to providing that service to future hikers to keep the tradition alive!” ~Prophet
Remy “Vogue” Levin
“The trails and the trail community have given me so much over the years: friends, kindness, endless trail magic, and my general positive attitude about humanity. I’d love to give back in any way I can. I’m excited about helping new hikers in their introduction to the community and the thru-hiking life.” ~Vogue
Vogue’s very first backpacking trip, at 18, was his thru-hike of the AT in 2004. Although inexperienced at the time (started with a 63-pound backpack), he quickly fell in love with long-distance backpacking. After finishing the AT Vogue hiked the PCT in 2005, the CDT in 2006, the CT in 2012, and, most recently, completed the PCT again in 2013 (southbound). Vogue has spent many a summer in several mountainous regions, hiking the majority of the trails in Glacier Nat’l Park, Sequoia-Kings Canyon Nat’l Parks (where he worked as a ranger), and North Cascades National Park (where he worked as a wilderness ranger).
“When I decided to hike the PCT in 2009 I was lucky to have a friend who had hiked thousands of miles and enough patience to answer emails like this “I have some more questions for you about hiking and materialism. What are your thoughts on bivy sacs, sleeping bags, and sunto watches? Oh– and socks and shoes too…. Do you mind geeking out on gear a bit?” My hiking mentor, Shawn Forry, helped greatly to smooth out the rough edges of my thru-hiking learning curve, and aided in my discovery of the unmatched freedom and joy I have while walking long trails. It’s time for me to pay it forward & share some of the knowledge I have gained on my meanders through the wilderness.” ~Sage
Sage Clegg started out her thru-hiking adventures on the Grand Enchantment Trail in New Mexico, went on to surprise herself by hiking the triple crown in 18 months, created her own 1,300 mile route across California called the Japhy Ryder Route, and last summer hiked the newly created Oregon Desert Trail.
Junaid “Speshul 41″ Dawud
My formative years were spent exploring the world around me and many of my fondest memories from childhood were collected in the great outdoors. Sometime in 2005 I found out about the Triple Crown of Hiking – the Pacific Crest Trail, the Continental Divide Trail, and the Appalachian Trail. I was quickly obsessed… in April the next year, I found myself walking north on the PCT. It was a truly life changing experience, though I didn’t make it quite the whole way (2420 of 2663 mi). I returned the following summer, 2007, and completed the remainder of the trail. In 2010, I was at it again, successfully thru hiking the PCT. ~Speshul 41
Speshul 41, with his friend Luke, recently completed a thru-hike connecting all of Colorado’s named fourteeners! Read about it at the link below.
Gen “Magnet” Shimizu
As the owner/founder/seamster of YAMA Mountain Gear, I’m very excited to launch the mYAMAdventure program! It was my desire to help others experience that which I love that led me to start mYAMAdventure.
I hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2004, the Long Trail (2011), and about half of the Pacific Crest Trail (2006). I’d love to jump back on the PCT with our mYAMAdventure hikers to finish up the northern half this year! Most recently, I completed a 2,754 mile mountain Unicycle ride of the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route. This is the mountain bikers’ version of the Continental Divide Trail. Imagine a long-distance backpacking trip, but with a wheel… one wheel!